Regents OK roads, buildings at campusesUSD research park to be located in Sioux Falls.
By: Bob Mercer, Republic Capitol Bureau
SPEARFISH — Some members of the state Board of Regents wondered about the real reason why it’s happening. But the board gave approval anyway Thursday to the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology proceeding with a much shorter version of the 2006 plan to build an interior east-west street on the south end of the campus.
The original plan called for a crescent-shaped connector that would have looped across the entire south end of campus and hooked into East St. Patrick Street at the far end of the football stadium. The new plan doesn’t reach St. Pat, which is a high-traffic thoroughfare on Rapid City’s east side.
What will be accomplished is a route to a new parking lot, better access to the business incubator center and the proposed new student recreation center, and potentially a research center that is on the drawing board.
University officials still describe it as the Campus Loop Road. The project, which regent Jim Hansen, of Pierre, labeled as “the road to nowhere” and regent Dean Krogman clarified “is not a loop, but a road,” will cost an estimated $1.1 million.
The money will come from three sources: the campus parking fund, $360,000; facility maintenance and repair fees, $350,000; and a federal DOT grant of $390,000.
‘USD’ research park
The regents authorized incorporation papers to be drawn for a new research park that will be managed at least initially by the University of South Dakota. But the park will be in Sioux Falls at the University Center complex, rather than in Vermillion where USD is headquartered.
The research park was part of the original plans for the University Center in 2006 and 80 acres were targeted. The Legislature last winter authorized the regents to proceed on incorporating nonprofit research parks.
USD already has a considerable presence in Sioux Falls with some of its research programs and with the medical school.
Both USD and SDSU presented confirmations that they will have their shares of the money to proceed on some major additions to their sports complexes.
The regents want to be sure they can tell the Legislature that the money is in hand when they ask lawmakers later this winter for permission to proceed.
SDSU presented a letter promising $32 million, although President David Chicoine acknowledged there is only $27 million pledged so far. He said there remains 24 months to come up with the rest.
SDSU wants to build an indoor practice and human performance facility for athletic training. The original price tag was $38 million but the project’s scope has been reduced to the $32 million level.
USD has $24.1 million committed for its $48.2 million package of new basketball and volleyball arena and a new outdoor track and soccer complex.
The university plans to invest $3.4 million from its funds while the Sanford philanthropy has pledged $1 million annually for 20 years as debt service on bonds for the remainder.
More building at SDSU
The regents told South Dakota State University to proceed in planning for construction of a $17.1 building three stories tall that would house the architecture, two engineering and math departments.
It will be built next to Solberg Hall on the current Solberg annex site. Bonds will be issued for $10 million and the SDSU Foundation has $7.1 million lined up.